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Horse Soldiers

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt, Hoot Gibson
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin, Harold Sinclair
  • Producers: John Lee Mahin, Martin Rackin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Vid
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0792838556
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,873 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

This latter-day sort-of Western from John Ford--falling midway between The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--is a crisp retelling of a true-life episode from the Civil War. In 1863 a Union colonel named Grierson (Marlowe in the film, and John Wayne by any name) led his cavalry several hundred miles behind Confederate lines to cut the railroad between Newton Station and soon-to-be-embattled Vicksburg. Grierson's Raid was as successful as it was daring, and remarkably bloodless. Never fear that the screenplay makes up for that un-Hollywood lapse--as well as supplying amatory distraction for the colonel in the form of a feisty Southern belle (Constance Towers) who has to be dragged along to protect secrecy.

There's a certain amount of bombast in the running arguments about wartime ethics between Marlowe and the new regimental surgeon (William Holden), who don't take to each other at all. But Ford more than makes up for it with such tasty scenes as an encounter with a couple of redneck Rebel deserters (Denver Pyle and Strother Martin), an ethereal swamp crossing led by a cornpone deacon (Hank Worden), and above all the famous skirmish with a hillside full of grade-school cadets from a venerable military academy. The film ends rather abruptly because Ford abandoned a climactic battle scene--the veteran stunt man and bit player Fred Kennedy having been killed in a horse fall. Golden-age cowboy star Hoot Gibson, who acted in Ford's directorial debut, Straight Shooting, appears as Sergeant Brown. --Richard T. Jameson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A depiction, with typically Hollywood fanciful love interest, of the raid that U.S. Grant called "The bravest thing ever done". Good John Ford western - and as usual Ford does appear in a minor cameo role.
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Format: DVD
I love this movie. John Wayne's swagger, William Holden's class, and Constance Towers' charm. They all combine to make an excellent Civil War Movie based on an actually raid that pushed deep into the South.
The movie of course isn't accurate but that doesn't matter. The drama and action are great and there isn't any silly romance to ruin things. Constance Towers' presence helps in the development of John Wayne's character but doesn't slip into any thing that distracts from the main part of the movie.
There are also some great battle scenes. My favorite is the VMI cadet charge. This was also based on a real event that apparently wasn't as big of a deal as in the movie but is still interesting to read about if you get a chance.
I recommend this movie to all John Wayne and Civil War movie buffs.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some of the scenes were not seen well due to the way the conversion came from the film version. It was as if the dvd image was centred on the old film image and only picked up the a part of the actors who were on either side of the original widescreen...
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Format: VHS Tape
John Ford was granted license long ago to interpret historical events. After all, he granted it to himself and made no secret of it. Other reviewers are correct that this is Ford's, and John Wayne's, only full length Civil War film, the team's "Shiloh" contribution to _How the West Was Won_ notwithstanding.
I have one "if only," but it is a bigee: if only they had left out the insipid, incredible romantic subplot (which adds nothing to plot or picture), this would have been one of the great Civil War movies. I suppose that Ford thought if he didn't add this the ladies would stay away, to which I say, "So what?"
With that out of my system, there is still a lot to enjoy in this pic. The usual, Fordian conflicts among strong male characters (notably between Wayne and Holden) are there as are the comic moments ("Now lookee, here. The sun comes up in the east, don't it?" "Well it does in Missouri!" "Well if that's the east, we're ridin' south! Straight into Reb country!"). The plot is standard "dangerous mission" genre. There is lots of action, lots of shooting, and that last obstacle to get by.
Wayne's character is interesting. Far from a professional military man, he is a railroad engineer sent, reluctantly, to destroy railroads-- and he has his own reason to hate doctors. Holden is a military doctor with no fear of higher command (Wayne). These two strong personalities play well off one another.
Ford has also been unjustly criticized for setting up weak opponents. _The Horse Soldiers_ undercuts that. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an ever lurking presence, dogs the cavalry column which is attacked at least three times.
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Format: VHS Tape
I am an unabashed fan of John Wayne movies from "Stagecoach" to "The Shootist." Among them all, "The Horse Soldiers" is my personal favorite.
John Ford captures, in vivid, robust color, the pageantry of the Union and Confederate cavalries. With flags flying, horses pounding, and bugles blaring, Ford and Wayne create sheer movie entertainment. The musical score by David Buttolph perfectly captures the varying moods of the film and complements the stirring visual images. From "I Left My Love" to the "Bonnie Blue Flag," the music accents the film's emotions. William Holden and Constance Towers are well-cast as Wayne's nemesis. The supporting cast is bolstered with many Wayne regulars, including Ken Curtus (Festus from "Gunsmoke").
Many criticize the factual inaccuracies in John Wayne films. So what! He didn't intend to make documentaries, he intended to make rousing, entertaining movies. I will always believe this was his best...
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By A Customer on Jan. 17 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie, loosely based on Benjamin Grierson's cavalry raid during the war Between the States, contains little in factual information on this raid, but can be viewed purely for entertainment. Those truly interested in cavalry raids, or the war Between the States in general, may be put off by the factual inaccuracies, but I recommend it as pure enjoyment for all. Considering the time period in which it was made, it is very well done. The cast is also great; John Wayne as the bull-headed Colonel dead set on going all the way, William Holden as the surgeon who manages to push Wayne's character to the limit, and Constance Towers as the beautiful Southern Belle forced by the circumstances of war to accompany the cavaliers on their raid. The blossoming relationship between John wayne and Constance Towers in this one only adds to the enjoyment. Though maybe not appealing to all, I feel everyone will enjoy this one.
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Format: VHS Tape
There's always something you know very well that you like to see again in every picture filmed by John Ford.Here we are again with the glory of fighting South shining in every frame .The young proud southerner lady.The wound ridden confederate officer at the railway station.The boys of the military school A bit of love out of mutual respect from the lady and the hardened yankee officer.The blacks faithful to their owners. And look at the horse soldiers, the scouts.Silhouettes on the fading light of the day. You know very well every glorious frame,you have already seen it a dozen times in a dozen or so Ford's pictures.But you never feel tired of them.You stay there and look.The film flows into your eyes,camera always pans slowly, to let you have the time to follow people,horses,background,clouds,and all that belongs to the art of this unique film director that was John Ford.
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